MIAMI—With a reputation for redefining luxury lifestyle offerings, the Carillon Miami has been through a few reinventions of its own—from The Carillon Hotel to Carillon Miami Beach Hotel to its latest incarnation as Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. Through it all, wellness and balance remain the hallmarks of the brand’s character.
Seeking to breathe new life into the brand and attract the right clientele, branding and interactive agency IdeaWork Studios was brought on to launch a full-scale rebranding effort for the resort. With a new name, brand identity, logo design and website design, the rejuvenated Carillon Miami Wellness Resort is ready to show its new face to the world.
“To begin redeveloping the brand, we had to start by taking a fresh look at the property’s attributes and the unique viewpoint they give to Carillon. In considering Carillon’s ideal guests, their values, and what attracts them to the hotel, we identified wellness and balance as the fundamental structure from which all our identity work stems,” said Jay Schwartz, founder and chief creative officer of IdeaWork, Santa Barbara, CA, and New York. “When I take on a rebranding project, I immerse myself in the brand, identify the intangibles, and craft a compelling story around the key strengths. Oftentimes a client will say, ‘We want this brand to be X’ and after my initial discovery process, I say, ‘But you’re not X—you need to focus on what you do well and what will appeal to your actual demographic as well as your aspirational demographic. Here’s how you get from here to X.’”
In order to craft an accurate, yet appealing, new narrative about the ever-evolving Carillon Miami, Schwartz immersed himself in the day-to-day life at the resort. He is proudly hands-on with all of the projects the resort undertakes.
“The Carillon story is as long as the property’s history. I walked in and immediately resonated with the property—it’s got great bones—and I saw what the ownership was trying to accomplish and the potential in building that brand,” he said. “Not every oceanfront property you walk into has 70,000 sq. ft. of dedicated fitness and spa space. To a large degree, I just listened to what the property wanted to become.”
This rebranding process started with the people. Schwartz pulled key stakeholders aside individually to solicit honest feedback—what is working and what is not?—and get into the nitty-gritty details of the resort’s past in order to propel it into the future the owners desire.
“When you get all the stakeholders in one room, people can get shy about speaking their minds and sharing their ideas, so one-on-ones tend to be the best way to get individuals to open up. After speaking to all of the key stakeholders one-on-one, the same themes kept emerging and it became my job to identify and synthesize the common threads, and then translate that into a visual story,” he said. “I want guests to understand that Carillon Miami is about wellness, but that wellness has a broad definition. Wellness isn’t the traditional concept of doing without… It encompasses the physical as well as the psychological and spiritual. Sometimes wellness means a boxing and spin class in the same day, and sometimes it means a martini and a cheeseburger, or retail therapy, or meditation on the beach, or whatever makes you feel good, balanced and ‘well.’”
Tapping into the various demographics—baby boomers to millennials—wasn’t part of the overall goal for the project. As a luxury property on Collins Ave., it’s a far cry from that South Beach vibe that lures partygoers.
“We didn’t want to convey that aesthetic because we’d disappoint guests that were looking for that scene. I wanted to convey a simple and clean look that incorporates or reflects the natural elements of sun, sea and sand that surround you on-property,” he said. “Some of the other visual elements I incorporated are more playful watercolor visuals, that reinforce the serenity of a carefree vacation but remain true to the high-end aspects of the property.”